Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Coro star feels misunderstood

Coronation Street star Bill Roache says he has put the upset over his controversial comments about sex abuse victims behind him.

The British actor, who plays the character Ken Barlow, is in New Zealand after controversy over his suggestion that victims of paedophiles were being punished for past actions.

He later apologised for the comments.

Roache told TVNZ's Breakfast this morning that his comments were misunderstood.

"If somebody doesn't understand what you're saying and puts it in their own words, it's a distortion. And that is what has happened.

"I'm not blaming anyone, I don't try to justify, but I would never say that. There is no punishment, there is none."

He said paedophiles should be dealt with properly by the law.

"But what's happened in the UK, there's been a pendulum swing after the Jimmy Savile situation.

"And all I was saying was that if you are accused, you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. But if you're a celebrity you get pilloried."

He disagreed the controversy had overshadowed his arrival.

"It was upsetting but it's over and done with. We've put it behind us. I'm in New Zealand, which is a very beautiful place, I must say. I walked around Auckland last night and loved it."

Roache's show Coronation Street on Stage starts in Auckland on Thursday.

- APNZ

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